- Indian Ocean (band)
"'Infobox musical artist
Name = Indian Ocean
Img_capt = Indian Ocean (band)
Background = group_or_band
Current_members = Susmit Sen
Notable_instruments = "'
Indian Ocean is a contemporary fusion music band from
India. Some music critics describe the Indian Ocean music as "Indo-rock fusion with jazz-spiced rhythms that integrates shlokas, sufism, environmentalism, mythology and revolution".
Beginnings - "Indian Ocean"
The band had its genesis in
1990when Susmit Sen met Asheem Chakravarty and their somewhat focused jamming sessions resulted in a few concerts. Susmit was on the guitarand Asheem on tablaand drums with no vocalist. In 1990, with Shaleen Sharma on drums, they recorded their first demo. In 1991, Rahul Ram, a schoolmate of Susmit's joined the band on bass. After a lot of persuasion, and on the strength of the demo tape, HMVagreed to record Indian Ocean's first album in Kolkata. It took another year for it to be. In the first five years of the band's existence they played exactly four concerts. Shaleen, the drummer, left the band in March, 1994. In his place came Amit Kilam, just out of his teens and still doing college exams.
Vocals were then added, Susmit and Asheem left their jobs and had kids. Music became their only source of income - when not playing concerts, they odd-jobbed on music for television serials, advertisements and documentaries.
On New Year's Eve, 1997, they played at Mandi House in
Delhi. The crowd gave Indian Ocean an overwhelming response and soon after, their next album had happened. A recording of the show was released a couple of months later by a company called Independent Music which was formed only to release the album - Desert Rain. In Spring 1998, Indian Ocean played at the Institute of Technology, Banaras Hindu University ( IT-BHU), Varanasi, establishing themselves as a cult with the youngsters.
Susmit, Amit and Rahul played a concert with violin player Dr.
L. Subramaniamwhile Asheem played in a concert with American folk singer Pete Seeger. The whole band also had the privilege of jamming with renowned Japanese trumpeter Terumasa Hinoin Delhi, and played with some great Japanese jazz musicians during their Japanese tour in 2002. Rahul and Amit had the chance of performing on stage with renowned percussionists Vikoo Vinayakramand his son Selva Ganeshat Almorain 2003.
The band went on the road - playing gigs in
Gujarat, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, Haryana, Maharashtra. The break though into the mainstream came some time in late 1998 when Times Music(a division of Times of India) signed up the band. A few months later, Indian Ocean were invited to play at the Millennium celebrations at Khajuraho. K. R. Narayanan, then President of India, was one of the first, to hear the special composition, which is one of the high points of their album, Kandisa.
The album was released in
March 2000and went on to become one of the best-loved albums produced in India. Kandisa acquired cult status and propelled Indian Ocean into the status of one of India’s most original and creative bands. The band left Indian shores for the first time ever in August 2001. They played their first concert abroad in London, and then went on to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, where they played 18 concerts in 14 days, and were nominated the Pick of the Fringe. They returned to the Fringe in 2002and 2003. In 2002, the band played 37 concerts abroad across four continents: New Zealand, USA, United Kingdom, Japan, Australia and Indonesia. In 2003 they toured the UK twice, as well as Australia, Germany, Singapore, and Réunion. In addition, they continued to play all over India.
"Jhini" and after
Jhini, the fourth album, was recorded at Kosmic Studios in Varadeipalyam, Andhra Pradesh, in the midst of fields and hills, a hundred kilometres north of Chennai. The first performance of the Jhini track happened at the IIM Lucknow campus. The album was released in May 2003, and the band had their first video made, were MTVArtists of the Month. They then went to compose music for their first major full-length feature film in early 2004: "Black Friday", released in January 2005but got banned in no time later releasing in Feb 2007, is based on the 1993 Mumbai bombings.
usmit Sen (Guitar)
Susmit has virtually invented a new style of playing the guitar, an uncannily Indian sound where purity of scale reigns, strong melodic lines woven around the drone of open strings. His guitar style forms the basis of Indian Ocean's sound. Susmit’s personal vision is towards finding a new vocabulary for his music. His virtuoso talent never overshadows the big picture, but serves the song immaculately, strengthening it, embellishing it, giving it a distinct character.
Asheem Chakravarty (Tabla, Percussions & Vocals)
Asheem showed his rhythmic ability at an early age, surprising musicians who learned that he never had any formal training. Indian Ocean fans call him “the man with the golden voice”. Asheem sings and plays the tabla simultaneously, a difficult feat rare by Indian percussionists. Asheem’s rhythm structures are unique and contribute a large part to Indian Ocean’s signature sound. He improvises vocal lines while on stage and is innovative with traditional Indian percussion instruments. Asheem was brought up in an atmosphere of Indian classical, folk and other Indian forms.
Amit Kilam (Drums, Percussions & Vocals)
Amit’s drumming is a balance between the conventional and non-conventional. Largely self-taught, he believes in layering rhythm rather than a heavy drum layer, since he believes in simplicity, not technical wizardry, thus becoming the backbone of the solid sound that the band has. He incorporates Indian rhythms into his drumming in a unique fashion, moving in cycles of 8, 10, 12 14, 16, rather than simple 4/4 or ¾ styles. Not a “psychotic drummer”, he goes easy on the skins, yet his playing is very dynamic. Was introduced to music at the age of 4 by his parents, learning the guitar (Hawaiian - Indian classical). He is an instinctive musician, picking up several instruments very easily, and he sings also. Loves listening to various kinds of music – Hindi filmi, rock, pop – favorites are A R Rahman, Trilok Gurtu and Deep Purple.
Rahul Ram (Bass Guitar & vocals)
Rahul’s bass playing moves smoothly – from melodic enmeshing with vocal and guitar lines to the more standard laying of foundations over which the band soars. His stage presence is an essential part of Indian Ocean’s live concerts. His vocals have a power and edge that emphasizes the folk roots of the band. Rahul also does most of the talking at live shows. His experiences as an activist/supporter with the
Narmada Bachao Andolan(1990-1995) and during his four years studying in the US have exposed him to a variety of musical styles from all over India and the world, and have strongly influenced his musical expression. Rahul has PhD in Environmental Toxicologyfrom Cornell Universityin New York(1986-90). In recent year, Rahul Ram went to America to learn to play the alto-sax, which he intends to bring to the bands music.
*"SWARAJ--The Little Republic" (2002)
*"Black Friday" (2004)
* [http://www.indianoceanmusic.com Official Website of the Indian Ocean Band]
* [http://chordvine.com/interviews/candid-with-indian-ocean Band Interview]
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